Updates

Press Release | October 6, 2015

New Bill Honors Pleasant Plains Community Leader Ted Williams - Office of Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau

Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduces bill to designate Theodore “Ted” Williams Alley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Contact: Tom Fazzini, tfazzini@dccouncil.us, office: (202) 724-8180, mobile: (202) 262-8998

WASHINGTON — A bill introduced today in the D.C. Council will designate Theodore “Ted” Williams Alley in the Pleasant Plains neighborhood to commemorate the life of the community leader and the enduring legacy of his family. The bill from Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau will also remove a roadblock to the construction of a building on the property which includes publicly accessible community benefits. 

“Mr. Williams is remembered fondly by the Pleasant Plains community for both his personal accomplishments and his work to knit the community together,” said Nadeau. “The District owes a debt of gratitude to this remarkable family, and I am happy to introduce legislation recognizing Ted Williams and through him, the entire Willams family. At the same time, this bill will help move a project forward that will add lighting and other amenities to the alley and surrounding property.”

Mr. Theodore “Ted” Williams was the first and only African American person to work in the Contagious Disease Department at the Old Garfield Hospital. He was also the first African American person to be employed above the position of "laborer" at the Hygienic Laboratory which has since become the National Institutes of Health.

Mr. Williams was also well-known as a community leader. He promoted some of the first integrated basketball games in DC and started the Banneker Softball League. Mr. Williams was posthumously inducted into the American Softball Association Hall of Fame. Mr. Williams’ wife, Gladys W. Martin, was an elementary school teacher and also known for her volunteer work.

Mr. Williams and his wife also raised very accomplished children. His son, Theodore Williams, Jr, became the first African American professor at the College of Wooster – after years of working mornings and after school at the Dupont Laundry Company as its first African American employee, then graduating from Howard University and Penn State University. His daughter, Mrs. Dolores Williams Tucker, earned A.B. and M.S. degrees from Catholic University. She served as a standout employee at the CIA Library and was the first African American person to receive the Career Intelligence Medal. A lifelong resident of Ward 1, Mrs. Tucker is known for her work to improve the Ward.

A project at the site by local developer, Seven Five Three Development, cannot move forward unless the Council names the alley in which it is located, to allow the developer to divide the property into lots. The plans, which were approved by the Board of Zoning Adjustment, will create live/work artist space and office space, which will bring daytime foot traffic to the neighborhood. The builder has agreed to provide public benefits including lighting of the alley, additional traffic signage and pedestrian travel protection. The alley runs between Irving Street NW and Columbia Road NW, and 11th Street NW and Sherman Avenue NW.

A copy of the bill is below:

About Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau

In her many years of service to the community, Councilmember Brianne K. Nadeau (D-Ward 1) has brought perspectives from a career that spans the non-profit, public and private sectors. She is committed to strengthening our schools, increasing affordable housing and promoting government transparency and the highest ethical standards. Prior to joining the Council, she was a strategic advisor to faith-based, Democratic and environmental non-profits, and is a former ANC. Follow her on Twitter @brianneknadeau or at Facebook.com/brianneknadeau.

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